In the UK, the flu vaccine is available each year. It is recommended to get the flu vaccine before outbreaks of flu have started. It takes up to two weeks after vaccination for you to be protected.
UCL have provided free flu vaccination vouchers for staff, students and PhD students from 2021-2023. The programmes ran over the winter period and involved collaborating with Boots Corporate Health.
From August 2022 to January 2023 9,664 vouchers were issued.
How effective is the flu vaccine?
No vaccine guarantees 100% immunity, levels of protection vary from person to person.
However, studies have shown that the flu vaccine helps prevent you getting the flu. If you have had the vaccine, and get flu, it is likely to be milder and shorter-lived than it would otherwise have been.
Flu vaccines have an excellent safety record. They are the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus. Particularly for groups that are at risk and for whom flu can cause severe illness and deaths.
Over time, protection from the injected flu vaccine decreases. Flu strains often change and our immunity towards these weakens. New flu vaccines are produced each year, to reflect the changes in strains. Therefore, the NHS recommend having the flu vaccine every year.
Read about what flu is and how to avoid spreading it.
If you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, research shows you're more likely to be seriously ill. Getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 will provide protection for you and those around you against both viruses.
If you've had COVID-19, it's safe to have the flu vaccine. It will still be effective at helping to prevent flu. You can find out more about the efficacy of flu jabs from the NHS website.
"It is important every year that people are vaccinated against the flu. This is not only for our own protection, and health of our families and friends, but because we all want to help reduce the burden of respiratory diseases on the NHS. Preventing flu will help the NHS at a time when Covid-19 rates are likely to remain high for the foreseeable future."